Whole 30, Day 8

Today I am reminded that I really need to get out my “fancy” camera.  Taking this many pictures with my iphone just isn’t cutting it.  It really isn’t doing the beautiful food that I’m eating any justice.  So that’s my July resolution.  In the meantime, here’s what I ate.

Last night for dinner. dinner day 8

Those are sausage stuffed portobellos topped with tomato sauce (ok, really just a can of whole tomatoes, drained and then squished between my fingers) and broccoli tossed in (grass-fed) butter, garlic and aleppo pepper.  It was a simple meal and it made me happy.

Oh I would recommend making your own sausage.  I always have ground pork in my freezer because it’s a great go-to meat.  Then I just spice it up with whatever is jumping out at me from the spice drawer.  Last night it was salt, cayenne, ground chipotle, garlic powder, onion powder, blackened seasoning, oregano, basil, a little cinnamon and a little clove.  Sort of a strange mix but surprisingly it worked.  I also mixed in some sweated onions and celery.

Today’s breakfast and lunch look familiar, don’t they?  breakfast/lunch day 9 Yes, that is just a variation on the same breakfast I always eat.  And lunch is one more stuffed portobello and blanched broccoli leftover from last night.  I’m very happy to be eating the leftovers.  Usually I’m totally not interested in leftovers and I end up letting them rot in my fridge and then I feel guilty for being so wasteful.  I’m trying to cut back on this stupid cycle by making only enough food for that night + lunch the next day.  Sometimes I’m more successful than others.

Side note, I’m getting a little obsessed with my fitbit.  On Sunday I did over 20,000 steps.  Yesterday, I only did 6,000 (it was a rest day and I was shackled to a desk while in training all day).  I’ve also been really enjoying tracking my sleep.  I’m actually a better sleeper than I thought, but that may be due to my current paleo ways.  I know I sleep a heck of a lot worse when I’m eating sugar and bread.  I guess now I can figure out just how much worse.


Whole30, Day 5, 6 & 7

Weekends are tough.  Ok, that is completely false.  This weekend was awesome but that’s why it was tough… tough for blogging because I managed to forget to take pictures of my food about half the time.  I’m not even sorry.

On Friday night, I went to the box.  They were doing a benchmark workout as the completion of their first 3 month cycle.  The benchmark was Crossfit Football (CFFB).  You get three attempts (per movement) to find your 1 RM of Power Clean, Back Squat, Bench and Deadlift.  I managed to PR all four movements.  Considering my spotty exercising in June, I have no idea how that is possible.  My total score was 700#.  That was good enough to make my box’s leaderboard at #3!!  I had barely even looked at the leaderboard because there are some hardcore crossfitters at this new box.  I figured it’d be tough to crack into.  I also was #3 in my deadlift – 265#.  Woohoo!

I was riding on a cloud when I left.  I then raced home and made myself this beauty.  That’s three overeasy eggs, seaweed salad, fried shiitakes and pureed kimchi – my new favorite condiment. dinner day 5

I wanted to eat before I met up with some friends at Honey Pig, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to overeat.  Honey Pig is this frenetic chain of Korean BBQ joints.  It’s nuts and usually pretty good but everything (almost) is covered in spicy sweet sauces.  I thought by eating before, I would be able to pass on getting myself some meat.  I was wrong.  I managed to order the pork belly (luckily without sauce) and eat my weight in belly and kimchi.  What was I thinking?

Saturday morning started with an experiment.  I had been soaking hazelnuts in water overnight.  In the morning, I blended them with fresh water and strained them using my new nut milk bag to make hazelnut milk.  Good news – it worked like a charm and was delicious.  Bad news – I think I have a mild allergy to hazelnuts, so my next experiment will be with almonds.  Lesson learned.  hazelnut milkI had lots of meal leftover, so I used to attempt paleo tortillas again.  Umm delicious with hazelnut meal.  I ate most of them right out of the pan.  Here is the best thing I did all weekend.  Mmmm almond butter.  Mmmm apples. snack day 6

Lunch was a near repeat of Friday’s first dinner, sans shiitakes.    I honestly have no complaints.  I think I could eat this every day.  lunch day 6

Here two other “meals” or snacks that I made myself, I think on Sunday.  lunch  day 7 snack day 7 And then…. nothing.  I completely forgot to take any other pictures.  Saturday night, we met up with a friend and I ate a very bland, very boring meal of smoked turkey, green beans and some of the saddest brussel sprouts I’d seen in awhile.  Good thing there was good company.  Sunday night we went out with my dad for a belated birthday celebration.  That meal was slightly better with a app of guacamole and plantain chips, main meal of lamb kafta and then a complete fail on dessert of berries.  With the lamb, I accidentally ate some feta and then decided I was just going to go for the dairy.  I mean it was maybe 1 ounce of feta and a couple of bites of tzatziki.  I’ll deduct the point for dairy for the day, and not worry a bit about it.  Now for the fail of a dessert.  It’s completely my fault.  I ordered the fresh berries without the whipped cream, never even thinking that they would put honey on it.  Oh well.  I took them home and Rob will eat them.  It was just an (un)pleasant reminder that Standard American Diet (SAD) is just so different from paleo.  It makes it very difficult to eat out.

This was breakfast this morning:

breakfast day 8And if all goes according to plan, this will be lunch. lunch day 8


Whole30 Day 4

So I’m just trucking along with this Whole30.  So far it’s been pretty easy, but I know better than to think it will stay that way.  We are heading into the weekend and that’s when everything can go down the drain.  But for now, things are good.  My meal planning worked out 100% until now.  I know tonight’s dinner is kind of on hold though.  I have plans to meet up with some friends at a place that is decidedly non-compliant so i have to figure out what to eat before I go.  The dinner I planned probably will take too much time.  We’ll see.

I forgot to take a picture of my lunch again.  It was leftover flank steak and grilled vegetables.  I supplemented it with mussels that were part of the staff lunch because I could be 100% sure they were paleo… and I love mussels.  I forget to take pictures because I’m just so excited to eat!  Lunch is one of my favorite parts of the day.  It used to be something I dreaded a little bit.  I would sit at my desk alone, trying to work and eat and not really enjoying either.  Recently, due to a combination of now sharing my office and a conscious decision to separate lunch from work, lunch is suddenly so much fun.  My coworkers stop by and we eat together and talk all about food.  Complete food nerds in the house.  It’s the type of conscious food eating that I think is so critical to having a healthy relationship with food.  I never thought it would be the case, but when I eat this way, I eat less, stop before I stuff myself and actually enjoy the food more.  Sounds like a win-win.

Dinner was a classic (with a twist) for our house.  We had shrimp scampi with zoodles.  It is the fastest, easiest paleo meal I know how to make.  You can literally go from frozen shrimp to sitting down for dinner in about 15 minutes.  I always have a bag of shrimp in the freezer for nights when I’m too busy or my meal plan fell apart.  All the rest of the ingredients are things we always have in the house: olive oil, lemons, parsley, aleppo pepper, zucchini and garlic.  Boom!  Dinner is ready. dinner day 4

I also was really excited to try out this recipe for paleo naan from My Heart Beets. paleo tortillas It was incredibly easy to make and actually worked perfectly.  We used them like tortillas for some of the extra shrimp.  Next week, I’ll probably do something different with the batter.  Because the recipe uses so much starch, it really mimics the pliable-ness of wheat.  I feel so inspired to experiment.  Many of my paleo baked goods have been utter fail-eos.

I almost forgot to take a picture of breakfast this morning. breakfast day 5 I managed to catch it right at the end.  Just imagine this container being full of the same goodies.  Side note:  my mayo keeps breaking.  I have made mayo a hundred times (only a slight exaggeration – it was my job at both restaurants where I worked) and rarely have trouble with it breaking.  But lately, every time I make it, it breaks.  Sometimes it looks good for 24 hours and then it falls apart.  I can’t figure out what’s going on.  It’s making me insane!  And costing me a fortune in eggs and oil.  I’m determined to keep trying because homemade mayo is 10000% better.  I’m just getting so frustrated!!


Whole30 Day 3

Ok, I did slightly better.  I forgot to take a picture of lunch (again) but I managed to get one of dinner and breakfast.

Lunch yesterday, was raw vegetables with leftover artichoke lemon pesto and tuna with homemade aioli.  Couple of thoughts:  The raw veg and pesto was so great on Tuesday but by yesterday I was over it.  Why am I so fickle?  But now that I realize I am, it should help me plan better.  In the past, one of the things that derailed me was lunch.  If I’m not excited to eat the lunch I bring, I end up eating the lunch provided – i mean, heck, it’s free and usually super delicious – but the lunch provided rarely supports my dietary goals.  So I have to make my lunches pretty awesome to find my inner glutton.  Second thought: I love tuna packed in oil.  It’s so much more flavorful.  This tuna actually came with chopped jalapenos in it.  It was a good change of pace but definitely not my go-to.

Dinner could have easily not happened.  I had a long day at work and then a pretty crappy treadmill run and I was really not feeling it.  That’s where this challenge is coming in handy.  I feel obligated to not let my laziness take over.  I remember how hard it is to eat Whole30 in a restaurant, so I feel tied to cooking at home and once I get started, it’s really not that bad. dinner day 3

I rubbed a flank steak with Magic Mushroom Powder (from the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook) and grilled it.  I also scrounged around for some vegetables to grill.  I ended up with zucchini, mushrooms and some cauliflower tossed with curry powder.  I also whipped up a quick guacamole and topped it with a few grape tomatoes.  This was not my most cohesive meal but it sure did make me happy.

This morning I had some green tea in the wee hours.  Luckily it didn’t upset my stomach this morning.  I guess yesterday was just a fluke.  When I got to work, I ate this: breakfast day 4

Correction, I am still eating it.  Cherries with pits take me forever to eat and I have no idea why.  I guess it’s a good thing though because then my breakfast is extended over and hour instead of a quick 10 minute mouth-shoveling endeavor.

In other news, my fitbit came yesterday.  fitbitI’m not entirely sure that I love it, but I’m still figuring it out.  Is it just me or does this seems like a really expensive and really stylish pedometer?  I mean it doesn’t do a whole lot.  I do like the vibrating alarm feature.  I wake up so early in the morning and Rob is such a light sleeper that I always feel a little guilty when my alarm goes off.  This way I hopefully won’t wake him.  I’m not 100% sure it will wake me though because this morning I woke up before the alarm went off.  Anyway, I’m going to keep trying it and see what else it can do.

Whole30 Day 2

I keep forgetting to take pictures of my food!  I swear, I’ll try harder.

Do you remember me complaining about the food journaling component?  Well I talked to my team leader and he really made me feel better about the whole thing.  Basically, I told him that I eat 95% from scratch and entering every component of things like mayo is tremendously tedious.  He started to say I could just estimate it, but then when we talked a little more, he was like “Look, I’m not doing it either because I cook.  Really this is about having people who have only eaten processed food their whole life reexamine what they are putting in their bodies.  If you don’t need the help, don’t sweat it.”  And like that, I let myself off the hook.  Such a relief.  It really makes me feel like I’m “on a diet” (with all the negative connotations that conjures up) when I food journal.  I just want to eat whole, real, healthy foods and not have to think about exactly what my breakdown of macronutrients are.

I’m going to attempt to blog almost everything I put in my mouth and that’s how I’ll keep myself accountable.

We left off yesterday with breakfast.  For lunch I had a bunch of cut up vegetables and I used some of the leftover artichoke pesto as a dip.  I also cut up another chorizo sausage.  I forgot to take a picture but since my lunch today is nearly identical, you’ll get to see a picture tomorrow. 😉

Dinner was awesome!  dinner day 2

Rob works a little late on Tuesdays so I had plenty of time to tinker in the kitchen.  If you can believe it, this smorgasbord was entirely planned – not my usual refrigerator dump.  It was my paleo take on a antipasto platter.  Let’s see, it was proscuitto, melon wrapped in proscuitto, soppressata, roasted asparagus (cold, roasted it yesterday), olives, roasted red peppers rolled up with sundried tomato and olive tapenade, deviled eggs, arugula salad with evoo and reduced balsamic, sweet potato chips from the oven and just a touch of eggplant dip.  And yes, in case you’re wondering, this piglet ate the whole thing.  No shame.  My only side note is that this was a lot of salt/sodium.  Next time I don’t think it would hurt to add a few more lightly seasoned veg and a little less salty olives and salted meats.  Just a personal preference.

This morning started a little rough.  I drank some green tea.  Occasionally when I drink this on an empty stomach it makes me extremely nauseous.  To combat that I usually eat just a little bit of food -a couple slices of apple or almond coconut drops – but this morning it didn’t help.  I just switched brands of green tea and that might be to blame.  I’ll see tomorrow.  But for today, half a cup of green tea left me wanting to puke, so the first hour or so of the morning wasn’t so hot.

When I got to work I gobbled down a hard boiled egg, the rest of the apple from this morning, some almond butter and a handful of blackberries.  As I was shoving the last bite into my mouth, I realized I hadn’t taken a picture.  Sorry!  It’s going to take me some time to remember to do that every time I eat!


Whole30 begins again

Quick post to tell you about my food from day one.  I didn’t take a picture of my breakfast.  I had a hardboiled egg, a sliced apple and some cherries.  Not the most exciting breakfast but it worked.  Oh and green tea.  I switched back to green tea for now.  I really love coffee but only if it has milk in it, so until I can make a batch of almond milk, I’ll be drinking green tea.  I ordered a nut bag yesterday, so it should arrive by Wednesday and then I’ll probably switch back to coffee.  I like green tea, but I loooove coffee.

For lunch, I brought a clean-out-the-fridge salad.  Looks yummy right?  I also sliced up a chorizo sausage.  I have found that there are a couple of decent sausages at the grocery store that don’t have any funky additives.  I use these when there are no leftover proteins for lunch.  Makes my life a little easier. lunch day 1

I was really excited about dinner.  I made an artichoke lemon pesto.  I spread it over some seasoned cod and baked it until the cod was cooked through.  dinner day 1 Since we are plunging into summer, I had some great heirloom tomatoes that I sliced up seasoned with EVOO we brought back from Italy, reduced balsamic, basil, tarragon, maldon salt and cracked pepper.  It’s a classic but so freaking amazing when it’s done right.  I tend to gorge on tomatoes when they are in season so that by September/October I’m so sick of them that I’m not interested in the out of season tomatoes that start showing back up.  And that  mug of tea-like stuff is some homemade veg stock that I added grassfed gelatin to.  We have a lot of homemade stock in our freezer (I have a hoarding problem) and with it getting hotter, I’m looking for new ways to use it.  I thought adding the gelatin was inspired.  When it’s hot, you don’t even notice it, but everyone needs that collagen.  Verdict: not bad, not great.

Breakfast this morning was a favorite and pretty quick to put together because of some of my advance planning.  I had egg salad – 2 HB eggs, homemade aioli and some Fines Herbes from Penzeys – baby arugula and some grape tomatoes.  breakfast day 2 My officemates have me on this cleanse drink kick.  That’s what you see in the not-so-attractive water bottle.  It’s water, the juice of two lemons and a big pinch of cayenne.  When I’m at home, I do one lemon and one capful of unfiltered cider vinegar and the cayenne.  The taste takes a little getting used to but I really feel like it flushes me out.  There’s some thing about it pushing out toxins.  I don’t know if it’s true but as someone that drinks a ton of water, this is a nice change.  Also, I started reading my new book.  What a nerd.  Yes, I read cookbooks.  And yes, a whole book about eggs gets me excited.

In other news, Hudson got his first summertime haircut this past weekend.  His fur was insanely matted so they had to pretty much shave him down.  He went from this: hudson before

To this:  hudson after

I didn’t even recognize him when they brought him out.  We just realized he’s (maybe) too skinny underneath all that fur so we’re trying to fatten him up a little.  Lucky guy! hudson smiles

Nutrition Challenge

My box closed at the end of May.  Two friends and I shopped around and found another box and I started up with the new box last week after returning from vacation.  It’s a mixed bag… I really felt like I was a part of the community at my original box and at this new one I feel decidedly out of place.  I think it will improve but I realize that I have to make it so.  I’m attempting to do that by getting involved in the many activities they have.  On Saturday I participated in their Barbells for Boobs fundraiser.  The competing was so-so,but it was a wonderful way to meet people, not just in my box but in the nearby boxes.  And I realized that I already do know lots of people.  It’s just a matter of time until I’m BFFs with the new place.  It’s been a week for god’s sake!

The next thing I’m partaking in is the Nutritional Challenge.  My diet has slipped into dangerously SAD (standard american diet) territory.  There is a reason that acronym is SAD.  It makes me sad.  paleo diet

But I digress.  I’m partaking in the Nutritional Challenge at the box.  You can earn up to 7 points in a day for following these 7 rules:

  1. Eat real food
  2. Do not eat processed dairy
  3. Do not eat grains
  4. Do not eat legumes
  5. No sugar
  6. Do not drink alcohol in any form
  7. Do not eat processed food

So basically it’s a Whole30.  Well I can do that!  I’m actually really excited to get back on track. I went shopping over the weekend so I would be relatively prepared.  Of course, then I got lazy and didn’t do any of the weekend prep that I had planned.  Oh well, there’s always tonight.

We also get an extra point if we track our food on one of those apps.  So far, I’m not loving that part.  I hate recording my food – it’s one of the reasons I love eating paleo because I never feel like I’m on a diet.  Also, what I’m finding is that because I’m not eating processed foods, it’s insanely tedious to enter every component of my food.  For example, today for lunch I have a salad that has more than half a dozen toppings, mostly little bits of this and that to clean out the fridge, but in theory, I’m supposed to in input each and everyone.  Blech!  Too much work for something I hate doing to begin with.

My plan is to lightly track what I eat here, with pictures.  That worked well last time.  Let’s see how it goes.  So 100% honesty, here I come.

Whole30, half way

I know I’ve been terrible about blogging about my whole30 this time around.  The truth is, my heart isn’t totally in it.  I really wanted to do it to get back on track with my eating after the holidays.  It has actually been really good for me to do that.  The problem is I have a sort of “been there, done that” attitude about the whole thing.  I’m not “learning about my body” or “figuring out what works for me”.   I’ve already done those things.  I know what works for me.  Eat less crap = feel better, look better, be happier.  Easy equation.  So what’s the problem?  I find the Whole30 model to be great teaching tool, but it is far too restrictive for everyday life, at least for me.  I know I have to eat better more often than not, but if I want a piece of super dark chocolate on a random night or if the social situation calls for having 1 measly glass of wine, then dammit, I want those things and I don’t want to feel like I’m depriving myself.  So I’m officially switching to Whole30 90% of the time.  Some people might call it eating paleo, like any normal paleo-eating person, but I don’t feel that captures the  unique-butterfly-ness that is me.

I feel pretty darn good about this decision.  I felt especially good about it last night when I decided and then I had a piece (or four… ok 6) of dark chocolate.  And here’s the thing.  It hit the spot and now I’m not stuck craving it.  I had it and I’m done.  That’s how it is supposed to work.  That’s what having a healthy relationship with food is all about.  How did I get so off course?  And I don’t mean just with Whole30.  I mean with eating in general.  When did it become this obsessive thing that I am either doing right (=I can feel good about myself) or doing wrong (=I should feel shameful)?  It’s such a load of crap.  I want to eat good food, in reasonable sized portions and enjoy it for what it is – a way to nourish my body and soul.  So here’ smy new goal.  Food that makes me feel good – IN. Food that makes me feel bad – OUT.  Experiences that make me happy – IN.  Experiences that turn food into something undesirable, shameful or guilt-ridden – OUT.

Soapbox speech over.

Let’s talk food.  #1 Immersion blender mayo changed my life.  Really.  I had been making it either with a whisk or in the food processor.  Both way stink.  By hand rarely gets you the super thick creamy consistency.  The food processor is a pain to clean because it has so many big clunky parts.  Enter the immersion blender.  I read about it in the new Nom Nom Paleo book.  I was a little skeptical to say the least.  Wouldn’t it break?  Well the answer is yes.  In fact I broke it twice before I got the timing down.  But now that I’ve got it, I’m in love.  It’s just so much easier and so much less clean up.

Then we turned it into chicken salad for the fastest weeknight dinner ever.  Here’s the chicken salad salad.  Hahaha!

photo 3

photo 4This is my latest favorite breakfast.  It’s an egg salad.  Oh man, what a nerd I am.  I can quickly scramble an egg, throw it on top of some salad greens and in less than 5 minutes I have a hot, yummy, healthy and filling breakfast.  Can’t beat that!

photo 1